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Application of ASTM Standard for Cellulosic Fiber Insulation Can Reduce Costs

In April, a new specification for stabilized cellulose insulation used in attics and roof cavities was approved by ASTM Committee C16 on Thermal Insulation. C 1497, Standard Specification for Cellulosic Fiber Stabilized Thermal Insulation covers a cellulosic insulation containing an adhesive that prevents or greatly reduces settling after installation.

David W. Yarbrough, Ph.D., chairman of the task group that developed C 1497, explained the advantage of reduced settling: “Stabilized cellulose insulation is an advancement beyond conventional loose-fill cellulosic insulation that typically settles 15 percent or more after installation. Cellulose manufacturers must account for the settling in their product labeling. The reduction or elimination of settling will permit thermal performance to be achieved with less material.

“The material cost to the user will be reduced and there will be less uncertainty in the thickness of insulation to be installed for a specific R-value,” said Yarbrough, president, R&D Services, Inc., Cookeville, Tenn.

Insulation manufacturers and testing-company representatives collaborated on the specification. “The standard required development of a test method for validating stabilization,” Yarbrough said. “The early developmental work for the stabilization test was done at Tennessee Technological University in cooperation with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association.”

Inquiries are welcomed by the task group, which operates under the jurisdiction of ASTM Subcommittee C16.23 on Blanket and Loose Fill.

For further technical information, contact David Yarbrough, Ph.D., R&D Services, Inc., Cookeville, Tenn. (phone: 931-372-8871). ASTM Committee C16 on Thermal Insulation meets Oct. 14-17, Deerfield Beach, Fla. For meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Tim Brooke, ASTM (phone: 610/832-9729). //

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